Every year we plan a few big trips together, Timothy and I. When we heard ÖBB’s proposal to launch Nightjet service to Brussels in December 2019 we jumped on the occasion and included a ride back home from Austria to Belgium on the Nightjet after our autumn Berlin, Czechia and Slovakia trip. However as we all know in early 2020 an annoying new coronavirus, COVID-19, appeared and shook up travel all over the world. We changed our plans to an itinerary in ‘safe’ Germany including stops in Leipzig, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Munich, Lindau and Garmisch-Partenkirchen from where we would take a short train ride to Innsbruck to board our Nightjet back home.
For our stay in the resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen we elected to stay at the Mercure Garmisch-Partenkirchen, as no hotels really stood out we just went with the hotel where I could use my ALL Gold status.
The Mercure is located in the Partenkirchen part of town, just next to the main street with shops and restaurants of Alt-Partenkirchen. The railway station is about a 15 minute walk from the hotel. Just like our previous experiences with Mercure the hotel did not wow us, even being more mediocre than we expected. The hotel had the look and feel of a semi-rundown 1970’s French ski resort and it’s lodging factories. Down at the lobby level and inside the guest rooms they tried to create a cosier alpine atmosphere with using a lot of wood finishings, but this was clearly a renovation of the 1990’s.
Upon entrance the clerk at the reception desk looked at us like he was wondering what we were doing there, maybe he did not expect backpack tourists to stay at his hotel?
Anyway at check-in he “forgot” the coupon for a complimentary beverage courtesy of my ALL Gold status, he did make up for that by handing it to us when we came to ask for some pool towels when we wanted to use the pool later in the day. Another strange thing to happen was that our room number was changed using Tipp-Ex on the keycard envelope, we could clearly see under our room number 127 the original room number 106. It seems odd to change a room number that way, why not just write a complete new envelope? Also the next morning when we went to enquire about our complimentary GAPA guest card (a card which gives you discounts on several attractions in the region, as well as free public transport within Garmisch-Partenkirchen), the friendly lady was initially unable to find our guest cards under room 127, instead they were under 106, very very strange indeed.
The room we received was a basic bedroom just like we reserved, in a semi-alpine style. The 1990’s almost called to have their room back. Normally as a ALL Gold member I should have been given a complimentary upgrade to an executive room, the next room level, which did not happen here.
There were two separate beds but due to only having a single pillow we slept badly the first night, thanks to asking an extra pillow for the second night we slept much better. In the corner there was a small seating corner at the window and opposite the beds was a work desk. The minibar was out of service due to COVID-19, but there was a complimentary water bottle and coffee and tea facilities.
The bathroom was tiny, with hardly any space to store items. There was a bath with a shower head, but neither showering nor taking a bath was really handy in it. The glass wall prevented the shower water from flooding the bathroom but made getting in and out of the bath really difficult when taking a bath. The toiletries used where some very plain dispensers, nothing fancy.
The hotel did have a swimming pool and some gym equipment, but you had to get your towels from reception. The entire enviroment wasn’t very inviting either.
The bar and restaurant where also closed both evenings when we were at the hotel, due to the low patronage during the pandemic. They did however have some sort of pantry offering drinks and snacks which could be ordered at reception. With our complimentary welcome drink coupon we generously received a full bottle of wine to enjoy on our room.
In the morning the breakfast was served in the Alt-Partenkirchen restaurant. It was decorated using a lot of wood, but the lack of natural light made it feel rather dark inside. Except for some one way signage, the assigning of a table and the forced use of throw away plastic gloves there wasn’t really a lot of corona countermeasures put in place.
You could just pick whatever you wanted from the buffet, only the hot dishes where served in small individual pots instead of digging in one common container. The rest of the spread had everything you expected of a breakfast buffet, it was good but nothing special.
Overall we had an ok stay at the Mercure, there was nothing really wrong with it. The hotel just did not feel very welcoming, a bit dated and in some aspects even a bit run down.
But as usual we felt that Mercure did not live up to the expectations it creates, they try to be an upper middle class hotel chain but usually deliver less. Would this hotel have been an Ibis it would have been a good one, it just felt a bit lacking for a Mercure. Maybe we have wrong expectations, but for this room price we will most likely book a different hotel next time.
What is your expectation of a Mercure? Let us know in the comments below!
- Hotel Mercure Avignon Centre Palais des Papes.
- Basic but convenient Hotel Mercure Paris Opéra Faubourg Montmartre.
Previously on this adventure
- The delicious German state secret: dining onboard Deutsche Bahn.
- VIDEO | Leipzig Hauptbahnhof.
- Leipzig Bayerischer Bahnhof.
- EAST GERMANY | Zeitgeschichtliches Forum, Leipzig’s GDR museum.
- Hyperion Leipzig.
- By ICE from Leipzig to Nuremberg.
- Nuremberg Transport Museum / DB Museum.
- Novotel Nuremberg City Centre.
- Documentation Center NS Party Rallying Grounds in Nuremberg.
- Nuremberg’s Zeppelin Field with the Norisring.
- Memorium Nuremberg Trials.
- Nuremberg’s real-life Playmobil Imperial Castle.
- You need at least two full days in Nuremberg.
- DB Regio from Nuremberg to Regensburg.
- Thurn und Taxis princely palace museum in Regensburg.
- Eurostars Park Hotel Maximilian Regensburg.
- With Alex from Regensburg to Munich.
- BMW Museum & BMW Welt in Munich.
- Munich’s Olympiapark.
- Sofitel Munich Bayerpost.
- Deutsches Museum’s Verkehrszentrum or Transport Centre in Munich.
- Deutsches Museum’s main site on Munich’s Museuminsel.
- By train to Neuschwanstein.
- Only 15 Minutes and No Photos in Schloss Neuschwanstein Castle.
- Museum of the Bavarian Kings in Schwangau near Neuschwanstein.
- Füssen in Bavaria, the gateway to Neuschwanstein.
- Münchner Stadtmuseum – Munich City Museum.
- MUNICH | Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum / Pinakothek der Moderne.
- Five days and four nights in Munich, including Neuschwanstein.
- By train to Lindau and Lake Constance.
- Lindau at or in Lake Constance.
- Hotel Bayerischer Hof Lindau.
- Trainspotting at Lindau.
- By train from Lindau to Garmisch-Partenkirchen via the Ausserfern railway.
- Staying firmly on the ground in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
- Nightjet Vienna/Innsbruck to Brussels, or how we got thrown off the train in Aachen.